Wisteria: characteristics and care

Wisteria, is one of the plants most used by decorators and gardeners to cover large structures such as pergolas or walls. Its name actually refers to the entire genus Wisteria , with different species.

Its spectacular flowering, with hanging inflorescences of mainly lilac and white tones, is one of the most striking and appreciated among the climbing plants, thus creating spaces with a unique charm. The wisteria also has a great capacity for growth to cover large areas in a short time, another of its strengths. If you want to learn more about this beautiful plant of Asian origin, join us in this article where you will find a complete guide on the characteristics and care of wisteria .

wisteria: characteristics

These are the main characteristics of the wisteria or wisteria plant :

  • It can climb heights of up to 20 meters.
  • It has groups of flowers or inflorescences of up to 1 meter.
  • Live up to 100 years.
  • It has a deciduous leaf.
  • It has its origin in China and Japan.
  • Its pods and seeds are toxic if ingested.

After knowing some of its characteristics, let’s go on to see how to care for a wisteria plant, stopping to talk about each type of care.

Wisteria or wisteria: characteristics and care - Wisteria or wisteria: characteristics

Location and climate for wisteria

To know well the care of wisteria or wisteria , it must be taken into account that it is a temperate plant . It can withstand high temperatures in hot climates, but in summer the plant will suffer and may need more attention. Frosts, on the other hand, can bear them, as long as they are not of great intensity.

Regarding its location, light is a very important requirement for wisteria. It can grow in semi-shady locations, but the more sun it receives, the better and more abundant it will bloom.

Wisteria or wisteria: characteristics and care - Location and climate for wisteria

Substrate or soil

In this sense, the most important thing is that the plant has a great depth of soil , since its root system is very extensive. Wisteria do not do well with calcareous soils, which can lead to iron chlorosis, but they do not have a problem with acidic soils , which even favor them. In addition, it is also necessary that the soil offers good drainage .

Irrigation

Wisteria can survive periods of drought, but if we want to do the different aspects of caring for wisteria or wisteria well and, thus, these climbing plants give an abundant flowering, then it will be necessary to water them frequently in the warm months. When watering them frequently in the warm season, try to maintain a certain humidity in the substrate constantly, although always without flooding.

Wisteria bloom

One of the most common questions with this shrub is how long it takes for the wisteria to bloom . And, if we plant it from seed, we may have to wait between 10 and 15 years to see its first flowering. So, if your wisteria is less than 15 years old and you haven’t seen its flowers yet, don’t be impatient and keep taking care of it. If we have multiplied it from a cutting, a very common practice, we will be able to see flowers in just 3 years .

On the other hand, if what we are wondering is when the wisteria bloom , once the plant is old enough to produce flowers, they begin to produce them in spring and last throughout the season. Wisteria flowers, which are also called lor pen , have tones between purple and white. Thus, we can see, according to their flowers, these types:

  • Purple or lilac wisteria.
  • Blue wisteria.
  • Pink wisteria.
  • White wisteria.

For example, in the photos in this article we can see the wisteria plant in bloom in lilac, pink and white tones.

Wisteria or wisteria: characteristics and care - Wisteria flowering

How and when to prune a wisteria

Due to the incessant growth of this plant while it is in good condition, it may be necessary to prune the wisteria up to three times a year : in spring, summer and fall.

The goal when pruning is always to stimulate the growth of as many side shoots as possible, pinching the growing stems until we cover the desired surface. In spring we should guide the new shoots where it suits us to get tangled and prune those of the stem, while in summer and autumn we will cut the new shoots to between 5 and 10 cm.

Trained

Like many climbing plants , wisteria requires a trellis so that its stems cling to it and grow by curling around it. However, it must be taken into account that it is a very strong plant and, therefore, over time it could deform or crush supports such as hollow tubes. Thus, the best option is to use steel cables, which the plant will not break or deform excessively.

Wisteria or wisteria: characteristics and care - Trained

Can you grow a wisteria in a pot?

Since wisterias have a very vigorous bearing, their roots tend to spread out a lot to support them well. If grown in a pot or container, the plant will not take long to take up all the available space, causing it to grow much less and its flowering is also less abundant, so, in principle, it is always better to plant them in the ground. However, the survival of the plant is possible in a pot. So the question is: when can a wisteria be transplanted?

The transplant potted plant wisteria should be done in spring or immediately after the flowering period of the complete plant. It is a good time to trim the roots of the plant, thus allowing them to grow back and give an abundant flowering.

This should be repeated approximately every 2 or 3 years , at which time the root system will have reoccupied the available space and it will be necessary to cut it and renew the substrate again, being better if, in addition, we offer the plant a larger container. 

List of wisteria or wisteria species

These are the names of the different species of wisteria plant :

  • Wisteria brachybotrys or silky wisteria
  • Wisteria brevidentata
  • Wisteria floribunda or Japanese wisteria
  • Wisteria formosa
  • Wisteria frutescens or American wisteria
  • Wisteria sinensisor Chinese wisteria
  • Wisteria ventusa
  • Villosa wisteria

Likewise, there are also those who cultivate bonsai wisteria.

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